Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 2)

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After a wild Week 1 where a number of starting quarterbacks fell to injuries the quarterback story became the biggest one in the second week.

Heading into the season there was already one starting quarterback on the sidelines with Ricky Ray recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

Everyone else was in place though as very other team came in with healthy quarterbacks after last season ended with many of them on the sidelines.

Then the first week ended all of that as Mike Reilly, Darian Durant, and Jonathan Crompton all went down with back-up QB Dan LeFevour also going out for Montreal.

It left a number of question for Week two as three new quarterbacks were going to have to take over and some were just starting a long road.

For the Edmonton Eskimos the journey with a new quarterback was delayed as they enjoyed a bye week after Reilly hurt his knee in Week 1.

With Reilly out for most of the season after tearing his PCL and partially tearing his MCL, Matt Nichols will take over when Edmonton hosts the 2-0 REDBLACKS in Week 3.

There is still plenty of questions surrounding the Eskimos as nothing has been figured out although Nichols did battle with Reilly years ago for the starting job giving the Eskimos some confidence for next week.

One team that had plenty of confidence in their back-up plan was the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

In the off-season the Riders learned from the end of their season when Durant was injured and they were left with no great back-up to lead them into the playoffs.

This off-season they changed that in bringing in Kevin Glenn who has been the ultimate back-up in the CFL.

That strategy worked well as Durant tore his Achilles tendon in Week 1 and will now miss the rest of the season.

That gave the ball to Glenn who is the most experienced back-up the league has ever seen and had been through everything long before he came to Saskatchewan.

There was plenty of confidence in Glenn to lead the Riders against the Argonauts in Regina. For all intents and purposes he was good in leading the Riders throwing for 477 yards and two touchdowns in a vintage Glenn performance.

The problem was that the Argos were not a team that was easy to get out and after what will likely go down as the best game of the year the Argos took a win in double overtime after Chris Getzlaf could not hang on to a low pass for a two-point conversion in what would have amounted to a tie.football-sidebar

Still the Riders’ confidence had paid off with Glenn doing everything he could in a tight game and looks to be a solid option for the season as bringing in another starter won’t be necessary.

Another team didn’t have a lot of confidence in their QB situation after Week 1 was the Montreal Alouettes who lost not only their starter but their back-up in a matter of a few minutes.

That left Canadian Brandon Bridge as the only quarterback left on the team and a player looking to make history as the first Canadian starter since 1996.

The Alouettes were not totally confident in the rookie though and they went out to create a week-long competition to see who was going to start in Week 2.

A new addition won the competition as Bridge was placed on the bench once again while former Marshall QB Rakeem Cato got the start.

It turned out to be the right decision as Cato had one of the best starts for a back-up all week. Cato threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns in his CFL debut without throwing a pick against the defending Grey Cup champions.

It was a big debut for a relatively unknown quarterback and one that may have consequences beyond the next few weeks.

Starting QB Crompton is not missing the entire season and may only miss a few more weeks. If Cato continues to get better and proves to be a solid quarterback, Crompton might not find his starting role there when he returns.

Crompton was always a question mark as he never seemed to be the quarterback that could lead the Alouettes to the Grey Cup.

He still won though and so he was the starter but if Cato can prove to be a quarterback that can put a team on his back, something that Crompton doesn’t seem to be able to do, the Alouettes might have stumbled into finding their QB of the future while also pushing a Canadian QB further into the background.

The back-ups did well this week and many teams are in good position heading into the rest of the season as there is plenty to talk about as only after two weeks the face of the league has changed and there are still plenty of questions to be answered.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 2 in the CFL)

McCallum back in Riderville
Paul McCallum was cut from BC amid plenty of controversy but the 40-year-old kicker found a new home for Week 2 and it was a familiar place as he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he spent ten years

Close Call in the Peg
Only a week after three starting quarterbacks went down to injury Drew Willy seemed to be the fourth in a line of major QB injuries after going down in Week 2 with what seemed to be a concussion but he was cleared for Week 3 in a near miss for the Bombers

The Streak Continues
In their first year the REDBLACKS had little success on the field but off of the field the fans showed that football in Ottawa works selling out every home game and that streak continued for their home opener this year with another sellout

Eastern Sweep
A year after the West Division dominated the East in almost every game they played the East has returned sweeping the games in Week 2 and potentially showing signs of balance returning to the league


Week 2 Scores:
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 52 – 26 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– The Ti-Cats came into Week 2 after a devastating loss to the Stampeders but used that as motivation when they took on the 1-0 Bombers and easily got past a team that was without their starter for the majority of the game

Montreal Alouettes 29 – 11 Calgary Stampeders
– The Alouettes had a decision to make heading into their matchup against the defending champions and they made the right one as Rakeem Cato proved that he was a legitimate starter while Mitchell couldn’t get the offence going in a big loss

Ottawa REDBLACKS 27 – 16 BC Lions
– The REDBLACKS have started better than anyone expected and they showed that they are a new team against the Lions in earning touchdowns at home for the first time while they spoiled the return of Travis Lulay to the Lions lineup

Toronto Argonauts 42 – 40 Saskatchewan Roughriders (2OT)
– It may go down as the best game of the year as both teams went back and forth into the second overtime where the Roughriders could not get the two-point conversion on the last play of the game giving the visiting Argos the win

Week 3 Matchups:
Ottawa REDBLACKS vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Thursday July 9th; 9:00 pm ET)
– The REDBLACKS try to keep things rolling as they look for their third win to move past their win total of last year while the Eskimos will head into the game with Matt Nichols at quarterback looking to make-up for a poor showing in Week 1

Montreal Alouettes vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Friday July 10th; 7:00 pm ET)
– Willy will be able to play for this game as the Bombers try to get back on track against the Alouettes who hope that Cato can get better and continue to lead in his second CFL start after a good showing in Week 2

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. BC Lions (Friday July 10th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Riders suffered a devastating loss in double overtime at the hands of the Toronto Argonauts and they are hoping to recover when they travel to the West coast for BC’s home opener as Lulay tries to shake the rust off for his second start of the season

Toronto Argonauts vs. Calgary Stampeders (Saturday July 11th; 9:00 pm ET)
– The Argos have done well on their extended road trip this year and they continue as they take on the defending champs who are looking to make a point against another back-up quarterback after losing to the Alouettes in Week 2

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